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> Paying with attention
Paying with attention
By Rafe Needleman
March 19, 2001
Roy de Souza, CEO of Zedo, has a good idea, but
bad timing. Zedo's services increase the effectiveness
and performance of online advertisements. Unfortunately,
the very foundation of online advertising is currently
out of favor. If your crystal ball says not to
write off Web ads just yet, you should know about
Zedo. If not, skip today's column.
Zedo has two main elements. First is the serving
model: Zedo uses the Akamai network to serve images,
so the company's cost structure is lower than
DoubleClick's, which supports its own server network.
The bigger difference is that Zedo's servers
don't perform the work of targeting specific ads
to particular users. Instead, users select an
advertising "channel" (like Automobiles or Entertainment)
on the sites they visit -- the system can even
be set so a user must choose a channel to get
the selection menu to close. Roy says Zedo makes
users more receptive to the advertisements, and
that his targeting is more accurate. Potential
customers are services with a wide range of users:
Web-based email and general news sites, for example.
Highly targeted sites don't have the broad ad
mix to exploit the service.
The startup has raised $2.25 million in one round.